Commission Levies $20k Fine Against NY Pirate Radio Station

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a monetary forfeiture of $20,000 against a New York man who, despite repeated warnings, reportedly operated a pirate radio station in the New York metropolitan area.

According to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued in April 2015, Luis Angel Ayora has a long history of operating illegal radio stations in Queens, New York. In 2013 alone, Ayora received three separate Notices of Unlicensed Operation in response to complaints of unauthorized transmissions.

The current proposed fine stems from an investigation by the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau in January 2015 regarding radio station “Impacto 2” operating on 91.9 MHz. Agents investigating complaints of unlicensed radio operations identified an FM transmitter antenna on the roof of a Queens multi-family dwelling, and subsequent field strength measurements determined that it exceeded the limits for operation under FCC Part 15 rules. A Notice of Unlicensed Operation was issued to Ayora in February, but the Commission received no response, hence the issuing of the Notice of Apparent Liability.

The Communications Act of 1934 makes it unlawful to operate radio broadcasting equipment outside of prescribed limits without a license from the FCC, and authorizes the Commission to seize and forfeit any equipment used for such purposes.

Read the text of the Commission’s Notice of Apparent Liability against the alleged pirate radio station operator.

Photo by William Brawley

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